Double-Pulse Laser Micro Sintering Process to Enhance Part Densification

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Laser micro sintering (LMS) can flexibly produce micro parts with complicated geometries and made of a variety of important materials. the use of a short-pulsed laser and small powder size can improve the achievable spatial resolution, but faces the challenge of poor densification of the sintered part. There is a need for an LMS process that can overcome these limits.

A researcher at Purdue University has invented a novel double-pulse laser micro sintering process (DP-LMS). The DP-LMS process utilizes two types of laser pulses with a special pulse format to enhance densification of sintered material, which may also improve the material's mechanical properties. The two types of laser pulses typically include long-duration, low-intensity "sintering pulses" to induce particle coalition and short-duration, high intensity "pressing pulses" to generate large pressure to further densify the material. DP-LMS can be easily implemented in a laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) system by only replacing or modifying its laser source and some related optics. Thus, manufacturers of LPBF systems can easily implement DP-LMS via a simple modification of their existing systems. DP-LMS use laser pulses with high achievable transient powers and can potentially process metals with high melting points.

Potential Advantages:
-Enhanced part densification and mechanical properties for short-pulsed laser sintering of fine powder with high achievable spatial resolutions
-Capability to process metals with high-melting points
-Wide adjustability of the thermal history induced in the material during sintering

Potential Applications:
-Laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) system
-Rapid & flexible production of micro metal parts (or metal parts with micro features) and any field that can benefit from such production
-Medical, aerospace, electronics, optics, and other fields

Related Publications:
1. H. Song, Z. Kang, Z. Liu, B. Wu, Experimental study of double-pulse laser micro sintering: A novel laser micro sintering process, Manufacturing letters, 19 (2019) 10-14.

2. W. Liu, H. Song, B. Wu, H. You, Double-pulse laser micro sintering: Experimental study and mechanism analysis aided by in-situ time-resolved temperature measurements, Journal of Manufacturing Processes, 69 (2021) 191-203.

3. W. Liu, B. Wu, R. Cui, H. Wang, S. Liu, M. Asheroo, H. Song, Double-pulse laser micro sintering of iron powder in multiple overlapping tracks: experimental study and material characterizations, Journal of Manufacturing Processes, 99 (2023) 405-415.

Research work related to DP-LMS was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CMMI 1728481. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
May 31, 2019
Utility Patent
United States
Sep 13, 2022

Jul 3, 2018
United States
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